It's Time for the NCAA to Dust Off the Death Penalty

It has been 31 years since the NCAA handed its harshest penalto to the Southern Methodist University football team. I was a member of that penalized 1987 team. We were caught cheating twice in a five-year period, and we were penalized for paying 11 of our players $300 to $500 per month more than the allowed scholarship amounts.The infraction is called the repeat violator rule, but it is commonly known as the death penalty. Our 1987 season was terminated, the 1988 season was handicapped to the point it had to be cancelled, and all of us scholarship players were encouraged to transfer away to other schools.Back then, nearly all big time athletic programs were cheating. The NCAA acknowledged that it had 30 to 40 major infractions cases every year. So, they created the death penalty in 1985 and used it to send a message to all the cheaters in college athletics to stop or else. And it worked, for a while.  Continue reading...

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